Women leading in the offices of the Diocese

 

It’s Women’s Month. A chance to reflect on our collective journeys – how far we have come and how far we have to go. A time to celebrate the women who inspired us. What brought us here and what motivates us to serve God. A few words from some of the women working in our office:
 
“Being a leader in the Offices of the Diocese means being free of the awareness of the ‘glass ceiling’ that exists for most women leaders. This freedom comes from having an equal seat at the spiritual, intellectual and decision-making table that Bishop Gutiérrez has set, and the empowerment to minister from it.” The Rev. Canon Betsy S. Ivey, Canon for Resources and Support
 
“The qualities of leadership were passed down to me by my mother, Betty Ann Richburg. She instilled in me and my sister, as a woman, to know the importance of self-worth and always striving to go the extra mile. To listen, be attentive and motivate those around you. To take risk, but if that risk fails, learn from your mistakes. Have a desire, commitment and passion to succeed in everything you do, and never to settle. To know your strengths and weaknesses, and know when to reach out to resources that are available to you to help you reach your goal/mission. These traits have followed me throughout my career and helped me be successful as a woman working at the Diocese of Pennsylvania.” Celeste Fisher, Executive Assistant to the Bishop
 
Since the beginning of time, whether recognized or not, women have been an integral part, the backbone and foundation of churches. After all, weren’t they the first at the tomb?! Women have been the first evangelists, first prayer warriors and first stewardship committees and we continue to do this work graciously and effectively even today. Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, I had the privilege of engaging with strong female leaders in the Church. A huge part of why I’m a priest today is because of my Anglican School principal who was female and who served as my Sunday School teacher, was also a lay minister at the church I attended, and did at times lead Morning Prayer. Women are important, especially in the Church. Our young women need to be able to see images of what they too can aspire to be.” The Rev. Canon Arlette D. Benoit Joseph, Canon for Transition Ministry
 
“Growing up as the only girl with brothers, I rarely saw myself as different from them. Unfortunately, it was the world around me that emphasized I was not the same as them, not as worthy at times because I was a girl. That has fueled much of my work ethic. Working in this Diocese – answering this call to serve Jesus – has given me more freedom and power to lead as a woman. To work with other powerful women. To know we are all worthy.” Jennifer Tucker, Canon for Communications
 
My mother taught me about leading as a person versus leading as a ranking. She would share stories about her job as an R.N. supervisor for the Department of Health and how the directors would often seek her out for assistance; it was clear the nurses valued my mother’s opinion therefore followed her lead willingly. She kept their passion for nursing alive. I believe mission work and developing new ministries involve building relationships; relationships with others we serve with and more importantly making individuals we serve feel like they apart of the ministry and not dependent on it. I became a Deacon because I felt strongly about the words of Jesus “follow me” and making a commitment get others excited about doing the same in my community. Now as a Canon for Mission I am able to continue that commitment throughout Pennsylvania. The Rev. Canon Toneh Williams, Canon for Mission